The last time a far-right government helmed Italy was in World War II with the iron-like rule of King Victor Emmanuel III and dictator Benito Mussolini.
Now, they find themselves in the hands of far-right leaders again.
It’s an alarming revelation for the rest of Europe, who keenly remembers World War II and the power wielded by Italy.
But it’s a return to glory days and a reclamation of that influence and power that has Italians voting for Giorgia Meloni, a candidate representing the far-right faction Brothers of Italy. Meloni appeared to be a softer, gentler far-right extremist as she campaigned, speaking in favor of aiding Ukraine and dialing back on anti-EU rhetoric. However, the party politics are nonetheless extremist. In a speech on the campaign trail, Meloni touted her group’s platform; “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration… no to big international finance… no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”
Meloni claimed victory early Monday and spoke to her country, promising to “govern for everyone” and not to betray the people’s trust in her. Meloni added, “Italians have sent a clear message in favor of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy.”
Meloni is only set to win 26% of the vote. Still, with enough candidates in the running, it’s enough to put her in the lead, a devastating blow to opposition party leader Enrico Letta who called her win “a sad day for Italy and Europe.”